You can be married to someone for eight years and know that some things will always be a mystery. Why does he swipe the crumbs off the table onto the floor rather than a napkin to be thrown away? Why does he only lose his temper with Windows 2011? Why do hints of brown in my attire elicit more compliments than pretty dresses?
Sometimes I look at Aaron and I viscerally remember the way I felt so weighted by the magnetics of attraction. Everything was so heavy—my stomach, the inside place where the heart is, even my face seemed to be pulled down by longing. There are times when, amidst the sound of dinner on the stove and the bustle of baby-raising, married people feel the spontaneous surge of objective, physical attraction. I think about Aaron: if I wasn’t married to you, I’d sure want to be, you handsome devil.
I laugh at Aaron because the most dependable compliments on my pretty self come from him when I am wearing clothes that his mom used to wear. I’ll emerge from the bedroom in a classy Ann Taylor black and white dress that Nancy passed along and Aaron will tell me how good I look. I don’t know what it is, he’ll say, but you sure look pretty. This mild homage to the great Oedipal complex is almost as funny to me as the time Aaron gave me a whopping kiss and said it was from his mom. A thoughtful and kind “give Sherry a kiss for me” is always subject to translation.
Most recently, I put on some waders (which also happen to be the waders Nancy wore for her visit; surely, a coincidence) and Aaron did a funny wink thing with his eye and told me how foxy I looked. We’ve been fishing a lot lately, and I suspect what is more attractive than a nice, baggy set of waders is the sweet wifely words, “Honey, you should just buy a stringer. You really need one for all the fish you’re catching.”
Here we are, one happy fishing family:
What’s that John Mayer song—Fathers, be good to your daughters and take them fishing with you in the river?